A family in Arizona received a surprise delivery earlier this month when a 28-pound brick of marijuana fell through the roof of their garage and nearly killed their dog.
Maya Donnelly says she and her husband Bill heard a strange crash on the morning of Sept. 8, but assumed it was thunder. Later that day, Maya noticed a hole in the roof of her garage and went to have a closer look. “I went out to investigate, and sure enough, I looked up to see the hole, and then my eyes trailed down and the big dog’s house was destroyed. It made a hole in that hard plastic doghouse and the bundle was inside…,” she told local daily Nogales International.
Luckily, the family’s german shepherd wasn't in his dog house when the delivery arrived.
Suspecting the package contained drugs, Donnelly immediately called the cops.
Nogales Police Chief Derek Arnson told the family he suspects a drug plane attempting to smuggle marijuana from Mexico to Arizona accidentally dropped the load in the wrong pickup spot. And it's not the first time something like this has happened, says Nogales police spokesman Robert Fierro.
“In the last couple of years, there’s been activity with ultralight aircraft dropping narcotic bundles in areas of Nogales, usually in the outskirts of town or northern city limits,” Fierro told Fusion. “But never had we encountered a package of marijuana dropped so close to the border, and in a well-known residential area.”
The accidental drug drops are also happening in other areas along the border. Last January, a meth-carrying drone fell in a parking lot near the Tijuana-San Diego border.
Fierro said he doesn’t know if a drone was used to make the doghouse drop. “I understand there are drones of different sizes and capacities,” he said, “ but no one witnessed the aircraft, and given our experience at the border we’re assuming this is an ultralight, manned aircraft used for short-distance traveling.”
The seized drug bundle is worth an estimated $10,000; the merch will be handed over to the local High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force.
According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of State, there are important drug-smuggling land routes crisscrossing Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona. These ports of entry into the U.S. are allegedly part of a turf war between the Sinaloa and Beltran Leyva cartels, causing a spike in murders and violence on the Mexican side of the border.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.
Rafa Fernandez De Castro is a Fusion consultant for Mexico and Latin America. He covers Mexican youth, politics, culture, narcos and funny stuff once in a while.